The Protectors

Amela Robince, a once average 18 year old girl living in Spring Lake, Virginia. She has gone her whole life believing she was anything but interesting, and at the bottom of the list when it came to special. Suddenly, her life takes a dramatic turn when she discovers a mysterious ball of light in the woods near her house. She came in contact with this strange attraction, and since then, her new immortal life was anything but average. Sustaining new powers, with a new job to help defend the world against intimidating monsters with 7 other strangers, Amela has the world placed on her shoulders. Battling her way through the supernatural and attempting to resist the inevitable charms of fellow Protector Harry Styles, follow us on this incredible journey of love, loss, and crusade.

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2. Chapter 1

Spring Lake, Virginia 
2013

Every minute felt like an hour as Amela watched the clock tick down, waiting for it to hit 2:15 and the shrieking dismissal bell would ring, kids flooding the halls eager to leave school grounds. The teacher was at his desk, feet propped up and reading a newspaper, clearly not caring whether the students learned the assigned tasks or not. The room was quiet and bored, with occasional sounds of a cough, or a hushed conversation between two friends about how shitty their grades were. Amela turned her gaze to the window, observing the blue sky specked with only a few wispy clouds. She heard the birds chirping from their perched positions on the dogwood trees that lined the sidewalk next to the classroom.

Amela put her head down on her desk, blocking the ray of sun hurting her eyes when she heard a knock on the door. Chastity poked her head in, her short brown curls bobbing as she gave that nervous smile she usually displayed before she bailed Amela out of class. “Hi,” she said, a little too peppy. The teacher gave her an uninterested look. “What is it?” he asked, his brow rose in irritation. Chastity’s happy mood dropped at the teachers annoyed response. “I need Amela for yearbook,” She said in a dull tone.

He looked at Amela expectantly, jerking his head towards the door as a signal to go. Amela refrained from giving Chastity a relieved smile as she packed up her things and went. A few heads turned but were uninterested, only envious that she got out of class before they did. Chastity spoke immediately after the door closed, “I hate your teacher, such an asshole.” She rolled her eyes exasperatedly, “I’m just glad he didn’t ask for a pass this time, I lost the fake one.”

The two made their way down the empty hallway, their footsteps echoing. “Man, we really need to stop skipping,” Amela started, then with one glance at her friend, they both had burst in a fit of laughter, “Oh Amela,” Chastity said, “You’re so cute sometimes.”

“Ok, well where are we gonna go then? I don’t want a repeat of last time when we almost got expelled.” Amela said in an irritated but playful tone.

“Don’t worry,” Chastity replied, “I’ve got a plan.”

“Oh god.” Amela said in horror. Chastity gave her a peeved look, “Dude, don’t be a buzz kill.”   

The pair turned around a bend, moving away from the front doors of the school where they’d be caught by a teacher or an officer, and started down a new hallway. “Look, I got my car parked in an exclusive place, took me forever to find it so you be damn grateful. It’s at a perfect spot so we can make our way out without anyone noticing.”

They exited out of the set of double doors at the end of the hallway, coming out to the senior parking lot. They skirted around the parked cars, towards the woods that marked the end of school property. Chastity’s dodgy red 1990 Plymouth Colt was parked at the very edge of the lot, the car barely noticeable hidden in the shadows casted by the tall trees.  

“See what I told you?” Chastity said matter-of-factly, “You can barely see it; no one will even notice us leaving.” The pair hopped in. There was no one insight, the parking lot sounding rather quiet, the only noise coming from the hallowed breeze ruffling the leaves through the woods beside them. Usually there was some commotion, seeing as the school was heavily populated and there was always at least one group of teenagers lurking outside school grounds. “Is it just me, or is the parking lot eerily quiet?” Amela asked, throwing her backpack in the backseat.

“I haven’t noticed; all I care about is getting the hell out of here.” Chastity said while starting the car, the engine making an unsettling rasping sound, which was part of the process when it came to starting Chastity’s car. “You piece of shit,” she mumbled in frustration as she kept turning the key forcefully. Amela just watched in amusement. “Dude, you need a new car.” She said when the car engine finally started. “No shit,” Chastity replied grumpily as she pulled the car forward.

They were driving down an open neighborhood road away from the high school, turning around a corner and heading towards Chastity’s house. Chastity lowered the volume of the music to have her voice heard. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, have your nightmares been lightening up or getting worse?” She said, sounding anxious, squinting her eyebrows together in curiosity. Her eyes looked worried from behind her glasses. She was referring to Amela’s recent nightmares. Amela was still hazy on when she actually started having these paralyzing dreams, but she remembers a few nights ago when she woke up sweating, catching her breath after being choked in her dream by demonic hands. That was the first night one of them felt real.

Usually they were just scary images of shadows lurking through the woods, threatening to creep through her bedroom window and suffocate her, but she always woke up before they reached her bed. What worried Amela is how and why they started, for she’s never had nightmares like the ones she’s been having. She used to barely even remember her dreams. She hated it, being terrified to go to sleep every night.

Amela took a deep breath before she spoke, “No, in fact they’ve been getting worse.” Chastity sighed in what sounded like defeat. “Alright,” Chastity said, “I can’t stand having to hear you panicked every night, calling me about how you almost died again in another nightmare at one in the morning. We need to go to a counselor or something.”

Amela looked at Chas with wide eyes. “Oh hell no, there is NO way I’m going to a doctor, you know they creep the shit out of me. No I’m not doing it. Go ahead and call me stubborn.” Amela said with a dismissive wave of her hand. Chastity opened her mouth, only to close it again. After a few quiet moments, the only sound being the lowered beat of the music, Chastity continued, “Amela, you ARE stubborn. I said counselor, not doctor. Your nightmares are becoming dangerous and it’s scaring me. One of these dreams almost choked you. Just go to the doctor, for me? I’ll go with you, I promise, and afterwards we’ll get ice cream and go see a movie?” She proposed with a hopeful smile. “Please?”

“Ice cream and a movie? What am I, five?” Amela said with a teasing chuckle, only to have Chas give her a pleading look. Amela sighed, “Fine,” she said, “but you’re paying for the ice cream.” Chastity jumped with happiness in her seat, her hair bouncing as she clapped her hands together in a girly way. Her glasses were crooked until she straightened them out. “I knew you’d say yes eventually,” She said with a pleased grin. They blasted Panic! At the Disco all the way home, trying to match their unpracticed and horrible singing voices to the tone of the singer. Usually their singing sessions involved shouting the words of the song in an attempt to sound good, and receiving pissy looks from other drivers.  That didn’t bother them; they both could care less what others thought, as long as they had each other.

               

***

After Chastity dropped Amela off at her house that night, Amela had gone straight to her room. She had taken a shower, afterwards getting ready for bed before she flopped down on her mattress, exhausted. Her mom was working late tonight, so she knew she was alone. Amela didn’t mind being alone in her house, sometimes she enjoyed the serine quiet. She loved the faint sound of the woods outside her house working with the wind, the leaves rustling across the lawn. Amela lived in a two-story, and her room was on the side of the house that faced the woods. Sometimes she would get up at night, after having another terrible nightmare, to sit perched on her window seat and watch the trees sway back and forth. They set her at ease, so she would watch until she had recovered enough to have the courage to fall back asleep.

Amela felt exhausted, but for some reason her brain wouldn’t let her sleep. It was an odd feeling, having every muscle in your body urging you to slip away into a soundless slumber, but having your mind keep you awake, banishing you from rest. She suddenly felt the impulse to go to her window seat and watch the trees. She was so tired, but she needed to watch the woods for some reason she didn’t have an answer to. As if by some magnetic pull, Amela got reluctantly out of the comfort of her bed, and made her way towards her window. She pulled back the curtains as she sat on her bench, staring at the darkness of the distant woods.

Her eye caught on two squirrels, barreling up a tree in a chase. The leaves that had fallen from the trees were being carried with the wind, making somersaults across the green of the lawn below. Amela suddenly felt more awake, trying to remember why she got out of bed in the first place. She looked around the room; nothing was out of the ordinary. Her desk on the far side of the room was still drowned in papers from late work Amela never turned in because she was simply that lazy. She looked at her bed, the sheets creased and folded, her blanket lazily pushed aside from when she had gotten out of it a few minutes ago.

Her mind dwelled on the thought of sleep. Amela felt like her brain was moving in slow motion, trying to grasp or recall something that was buried deep within her thoughts. She was about to get up to close the curtains when she spotted a small white light floating deep in the distance of the woods. The light was so tiny from Amela’s view, but it was so bright, almost captivating. Just a small piece of light surrounded by frightening darkness.

Amela needed to go to the light. She needed to be near it, to comfort it from its dangerous surroundings of the dark woods. With a sudden burst of energy, Amela leaped from her window bench and pulled on skinny jeans and a hoodie, tying her converse and pulling her hair quickly into a messy ponytail. She scurried down the stairs and threw her door open. As she made her way to the side of the house, towards the woods, Amela kept her eye on the tiny ball of light the entire time. Suddenly the light moved, going deeper into the woods. She felt an abrupt wave of panic, frightened that the light might get away. She broke into a run, desperate to reach it before it disappeared from her.

She reached the edge of the woods and broke through a mess of tangled branches, one branch caught on a few stray strands of hair, pulling them out. Amela was oblivious to the slight pain, keeping her eye on the beautiful light. She stumbled through the woods. Amela, not having the best balance, all but fell on her face as she tripped and faltered on dead wood logs and low invisible branches. The sphere of light outlined Amela’s surroundings, so she wasn’t in complete darkness.

She edged nearer and nearer to the light, the source illuminating her admiring face and a few branches and trees around her. “You’re so pretty,” She told the orb, then feeling stupid, as if it could talk to her. The light made no sound, but instead made everything else quiet. Amela’s surroundings sounded like they were underwater. The tree’s swayed, but there was no sound. The soft breeze moved her hair, but she couldn’t hear the wind in her ear. She stepped closer to the orb, and could not hear her footsteps crunching the leaves beneath her feet. Amela worried for half a second that she was going deaf, but quickly released the idea because it simply didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but the light floating in front of her. She reached her hand out, hesitant but needing to come in contact with the strange element. Her fingertips reached the light, but she couldn’t feel anything. Not even heat, or maybe a chill. Whatever the temperature it was, she couldn’t feel it.

Amela pulled her hand away, disappointed. She didn’t know why she was disappointed, what did she expect would happen? Well, she guessed when there’s a random ball of light floating in the woods outside someone’s house, they’re bound to assume things. Seeing that there was nothing left to do but return home, Amela turned away and started heading back to her house. She only made it a few steps when she felt a painful explosion against her back. Amela was thrown on her stomach, a painfully loud roaring in her ears. She looked up and saw waves of fluorescent light pounding through the trees. Amela shielded her eyes, for she could no longer see the trees, just a blinding white light inflicting its powerful force all around her that began to burn her eyes. There was a painful searing on her back that felt like a sharp branch slowly cutting up her spine.

She needed to crawl away; needed to distance herself from the excruciating burn of the white all around her. Amela attempted to get on her hands and knees, but immediately was pushed down by the gravitational force of the lights impact. She felt a trickle down her ear before bringing her hand below her ear and pulling it away to see blood. The sound of the light was so loud her ears were bleeding. Shit.

Amela heard a high pitched, paralyzing scream. She didn’t know if it was herself who screamed, or if it emitted from a distance. Amela felt weak, she felt like her body was giving up. No, Amela thought, you cannot give upNot here. She brought all her strength that was still left to crawl away, though there was nowhere to crawl, all of her surroundings where striking white light. Amela’s eyes drooped as she felt unconscious’s hands pulling her toward itself. She was slipping away, her mind humming and her ears ringing as the loud roar of the light was becoming dull.

 “No,” Amela breathlessly mumbled. That was all that she could let escape her lips as her head slumped to the forest floor, her eyelids closed as her brain shut down and darkness took her away. 

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